Journey to Baptismal Living is an organization of diverse people (clergy and lay) from diverse denominations, (Episcopal, Lutheran, United Methodist, Presbyterian to name a few) connected through their commitment to the movement of faith through the sacrament of baptism to baptismal living as disciples of Christ.

Founded in 1993 as the North American Association for the Catechumenate (NAAC), the primary activities of this organization have been the promotion of the catechumenate through training events for clergy and lay leaders and monthly publications with articles of interest, book reviews, and best practices.

In 2017, NAAC changed its name to Journey to Baptismal Living to engage people who are not yet familiar with the catechumenate and its unique language. We are the same people with the same high quality training and support.

Our Association of pastoral leaders and congregations is an ecumenically hospitable network, extending welcome toward all who would engage in exploration and dialogue concerning the sacramental practice of Christian baptism, and particularly catechumenal processes. A core ecumenical value includes learning from baptismal practice in the early Church , from various denominational traditions, and from each other in our Gathering and training events in diverse regions and contexts.

Denominational traditions which encourage commitment and offer resources toward a baptismal Lenten season have historically provided the foundation for our network, e.g. Evangelical Lutheran Church of America, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada, The Episcopal Church in the United States, and the Anglican Church of Canada. Additionally, a certain number of United Methodist, Presbyterians (USA), and United Church of Christ pastors have participated actively in the network. Today, there is a lively ecumenical interest in strengthening congregational discipleship training and spiritual formation, and a growing interest in the opportunities for renewal of Christ’s Church to be discovered in catechumenal processes. The Journey toward Baptismal Living invites sisters and brothers to share this important ministry across denominational boundaries, without question.

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Sarah Jean Barton (Episcopalian)
Durham, NC

Jay Koyle (Anglican Church of Canada)
Sault Ste. Marie, ON Canada

Terry Martinez (Presbyterian)
St Charles, MO

Michael H. Marchal (Roman Catholic)
Cincinnati, OH

Kyle Schiefelbein-Guerrero (Lutheran)
Philadelphia, PA

Larry G. Ehren (Episcopalian)
Overland Park, KS

About the Catechumenate

The catechumenate is an enlivening journey of spiritual formation for those either exploring Christianity or seeking to renew their faith. Based on ancient practices, it goes beyond the traditional study of “what Christians believe.” Through worship, prayer, small groups, Biblical reflection, sponsors and ministry in daily life, it creates a journey toward baptismal living which transforms participants and revitalizes faith communities.

The catechumenate — a process of faith formation and discipleship that began in the early centuries of the Christian Church — was reclaimed in the twentieth century, by the Roman Catholic Church in the development of the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA). Since the 1980’s non-Catholic Christian churches have moved toward the catechumenate as a process of faith formation and spiritual development for twenty-first century people who have little or no previous connection with Christian faith.

The catechumenate focuses on the development of four primary faith practices: corporate worship, the study of Scripture, prayer, and baptismal living. It is an apprenticeship in faith for those on a spiritual quest that is:

  • process-oriented rather than program-oriented
  • lay-led rather than clergy-dominated
  • formative in Christ rather than informative about Christ

The catechumenate is also being adapted in congregations for renewal in the processes of the baptism of infants and children, in confirmation ministry, and in the affirmation of baptism or the reaffirmation of the baptismal covenant by the already baptized.

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